Saturday, April 30, 2011

So-so Saturday....

Today had all the makings of a great Saturday.  Clear skies....nowhere to go....nothing we HAD to do....AHHH....I needed a Saturday like this.  I wanted to shop a little, work a little, rest a little, play a little.....

And we did.....sort of

The problem is......the kids woke up fairly whiny....and the Mama (that would be me) woke up slightly grumpy.....perhaps due to the 4 extra children that had migrated to my bed throughout the night....

One kid is not terribly unusual....but 4......that is just not comfy in my Queen sized bed.

So we had a bit of a rough start....but we puttered around the house a bit....Randy tackled my "honey do" list and then we decided to go to Lowe's and get some flowers!!!!  (my early Mother's Day present....because THE GIRL'S birthday is next weekend)

So I did have fun picking out plants/flowers.....I got a Mandavilla, 2 blueberry bushes, a banana pepper plant, a tomato plant, some cilantro, and some parsley.  I am very excited because I want to use all my new pepper/tomato/herb plants to make homemade salsa!  That just sounds fun to me :)


We got home and I fed the, once again whining, kids lunch.  I think because they were sick last week and I spent the week catering to their whims....that they now think that should continue....and guess what?  It's not!  So come lunch time they were placing lunch orders like I was running a restaurant....Seriously?

Well I can assure you that didn't fly and it was hot dogs all around.

ANYWAY....then it was definitely room time so while Randy worked on a paper for school I planted my flowers!!!!  That was fun!

Just as I finished up my super sweet sister-in-law happened by and said my super sweet mother-in-law said that we could pick out outfits for the kiddos and ourselves for a family beach picture and that she would pick up the tab?!!!?  How awesome is that!  So Aunt Rhonda and I took TL, The Twinkie Girl, and The Baby shopping.  We found most everything at Old Navy....and it was all on sale!  FUN!  I had a GREAT time getting to catch up and chat some with Rhonda. We don't get to spend time together nearly enough so that was really nice.

Then....things went downhill.  I got home and I was greeted with more whining, and boys (who shall remain nameless in order to protect their identities) were laying around playing video games (ON TOP OF LAUNDRY THAT NEEDED TO BE FOLDED!!!!! :)  and there was just a mess everywhere.....and I guess I sort of snapped :/

I think I was tired from having a house full of sick kids and a kitchen full of strawberries.....and I went a little bit bonkers!!!

I gave a free speech about how I sure wasn't the only one to mess up the house I don't know why everyone thinks I should be the only one to clean it.....Well children started scattering like flies and I started doing I loaded the dishwasher and thought....I concluded that pretty much everything I said was true....but it was way too intense and way too out of context......and way too random.

So I did apologize for my attitude....but it made it very clear that I did mean what I said....and everyone needed to pitch in.  So they did.

THEN....We got to have a very fun cookout with our neighbors....
We pooled our resources and had a delicious dinner: steak, chicken, southern potatoes, cheesy veggies, salad, strawberry cupcakes, and peanut butter pie....
Thank you for the pie Mama.  We all enjoyed it!  She brought it over on Easter (along with lots of other yummy goodness) and tonight was the perfect time to break it out!!!

The kids played....

Owen serenaded THE BABY....those 2 are a match made in heaven....

And then my Tribe.....went wild!  Whining calling began.....playing instruments really loudly in peoples ears just to annoy get the picture!  So....we quickly said goodnight, children were promptly deposited into varies time outs.....and other children were promptly sent off to shower and bathe....

It was definitely time to start getting ready for after timeouts, talks, I'm sorry's, baths, band-aids, water, hugs and kisses.....they are finally all tucked in and hopefully I am done.....

They fell asleep in about 2 minutes flat.....they were all worn out!  It can't be easy whining as much as they did today!

So here's my plan:
I'm going to take a bubble bath, read a book, and hopefully wake up sweeter in the morning!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pickin' Strawberries....and on little kids!

So tonight after dinner we went to pick strawberries.....I will refrain from saying where....because....well you'll see.....

We had so much fun! 

We picked so many berries!

We enjoyed our time together!

The kids were so happy and well-behaved.

Then we went to have our buckets weighed and pay for our strawberries.....and a lady, whom I had never seen before in my life, but am assuming was the owner approached us and started YELLING at my kids, specifically THE GIRL....

(I actually have a picture of the lady yelling at them.....but it probably would not be very nice to post it here.....ohhh....but I so want to post it.  No I didn't take a picture during her tirade.....I was taking pictures and she walked up and began yelling right as I took the photo)

She was saying something about "do not jump over can ruin the plants.....don't throw strawberries...."
I have no IDEA what she was talking about.....
THE GIRL'S eyes welled up with tears and she just stood did the other kids.  It was surreal.

Randy and I were speechless.....
I stood right beside the kids the entire time.  I did not notice this hullabaloo....BUT....I do tend to focus at times and not notice gorillas running through basketball I'm not saying it didn't happen....I just was shocked.

So when the lady left.....I asked the girl what the lady was talking about.....she said she did step over the row one time but then she said we told her not to do so and so she didn't do it again.  As for throwing strawberries....she said they all threw the rotten ones they accidentally picked and the tops from the ones they ate but not any fresh ones.

So I guess I know what she was talking about.....but really......I don't think their behavior merited that reaction.

HMMMMM......I don't think I should say what I felt like saying to this woman......and I am glad that I chose to not say anything......but GRRRR.....I must say I doubt I will ever go back and I have picked berries there 12 of the last 13 years of my life. 

I am sure she deals with a lot of kids and I am sure that children have ruined many a strawberry plant....but really....yelling at kids and their parents is probably not the best policy......If my kids were being unruly I can promise you I would not mind an adult speaking to them about their behavior....I can also promise you that I would do it myself if I saw what was going on......but to see a single incident and then SCREAM at little kids.....that just makes a Mama Bear Mad! 

So......I guess this is just another opportunity for me to extend grace.  I want to yell at her and tell her how she hurt my tenderhearted daughter and how she has no clue what she is talking about....

But Why?  What good would come of it?  Who knows what is happening in her life.  So although she definitely put a damper on the evening and certainly lost a loyal customer it did give us an opportunity to learn.  We learned how to treat people.  How to respond when mistreated.  How to be careful not to judge others on a snippet of their life because it sure isn't fun being on the receiving end. 

She's probably a really nice lady....who had a crummy day.....and just lost it.......

Oh well it was a fun night and we did have yummy homemade strawberry shortcake for desert

AND will have enough sweet strawberry jam to last all year!

Whew....thank you for letting me vent!  I do feel better now!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well....I have really enjoyed looking at all my friends blogs....and seeing all their cute outfits and fun I thought it only fair that I give you all a glimpse of ours:

We had the baskets ready.....

The kiddos were so sick!

at least they had sweet bunnies to snuggle with....
No church, no family get together, and no Easter egg hunt this year....
Lots of snuggles.  Lots of naps.  Lots of movies....

Lots of germs!
TWINKIE BOY and THE GIRL are so much better.  Praise the Lord.
TWINKIE GIRL is struggling.....she went to the doctor today and we are trying several things...mainly in an effort to get food into her.  She has lost too much weight.  So if you think about her please say a little prayer.
We expect she will feel much better tomorrow.

Our Easter wasn't what we hoped or what we had expected....
HOWEVER....Jesus still rose and that is what Easter is about! 
So thankful we serve a RISEN Savior!
So thankful we seem to be on the mend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pondering Passages. is pondering passages day.....


Boy has it been a LOOOONNNGGG day.

My day started around 3:00 am (and unfortunately yesterday ended around 1:00 you do the math!and it = a very sleepy mommy.)

1.   TWINKIE BOY came down around 3:00 this morning and has been vomiting and diarrheaing about every hour on the hour since then....My house smells NICE!
I have had about 10 loads of laundry......REALLY....and I wasn't really behind.....I did our regular 2 loads and then I had all the sheets and blankets and towels and underwear and pajamas....that fell victim to THE STINKY TWINKIE....and as he finally settled down and seemed to be about ready to drift off he jumped up and ran over to me (I was sitting across the room folding the mountain of laundry....and he threw up all over the clean clothes and me.....YEP!  So...we started over....and the last load is now in the washer....and I have a load in the dryer....and I have folded the other loads and have them very far away from little man.
Aside from laundry I am disinfecting everything he touches, mopping floors repeatedly, washing and sanitizing vomit know all that fun stuff!

and I guess I should be making dinner....but that is the LAST thing on my mind.....hope the kids are in the mood for cereal!

2.  My Papa got admitted to the hospital today :(  he has become very short of breath and has fluid around his they are running tests to see if he had a heart attack.  This is not my Granddaddy I blogged about the other day....this is my Mama's Daddy...Papa

He has been healthy as a horse....hasn't even slowed I was very surprised and I am a bit concerned and I so want to go and visit....but I feel like I'm too germ infested to go near anyone that is sick.


It is days like today that I am very grateful that I've been pondering passages.  Being able to dwell on truth, when I am so weary I feel my eyes must be propped open, is such a blessing to get me through the day.

I am weak....I am worn out (and grossed out and stressed out) but praise God he is strong.  Praise God he came to give rest to the weary and encouragement to the discouraged and strength to the weak!

I'm not going to do a long pondering passage post.....but just so you can see some of the benefits of pondering passages.....

and if you like me could use a little good's some from this week:

2 Corinthians 5:21
"God made him who had NO SIN to BE SIN FOR US, (WHY?) so that IN HIM we might BECOME the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God."

Now if that isn't enough to turn your day right side round then I don't know what is!

Well it's back to clean up crew for me!
Praying nobody else gets this has been rough on the little man and praying for Papa.

To see a great post on this weeks pondering check out Shay's

Hoping for a night of rest for us all-

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On having lots of kids.

As a mom with several young children, who are almost always out and about with me, I get asked them same questions very below I've included my honest answers...(.and what I sometimes feel like saying and am almost always thinking) :)

Are they all yours?
(no I just borrowed a few extras to make coming to the grocery store more fun)

How do you do it?
I don't....I have a lot of help.

Are you going to have anymore?
*I absolutely do not care when friends and family ask this....but it is strange when someone you never have met asks this*
(haven't I had enough????)

Do you know what causes it?
We are starting to figure it out.
(Yes....and we like it....don't you?)
*I can't believe I just wrote this....but I'm trying to keep it real :)

How can you afford so many?
We can't.
(They really aren't THAT don't HAVE to spend thousands of dollars on lessons, stylish clothes, parties, gifts, schools...and they can still grow up happy and well rounded and IS a choice)

Do you ever get time to yourself?
(How would we have so many kids if we NEVER got any time to ourselves)

Do you homeschool?
(but I homeschooled when I had 1 too.)

Did you plan to have that many?
(they didn't come exactly the way I had planned....but we definitely wanted a bunch)

Why on earth would you want so many children?
because they are a blessing and if you train them right they can actually be helpful too.
(all the hugs, all the kisses, all the cuddles, all the chances to send forth arrows to make a difference in the world, all the grandchildren, all the options for people to visit and harrass when we get old...why not?)

At church the most frequent question as of late has been:
Do you care that the Williford's beat you?
Not at all.  I am happy for them.
(I didn't know it was a race....children are a blessing from the Lord and I have been blessed and so have is NOT a game or competition....these are real children, with real souls, and we are real parents and these are our real lives.....believe me....there is a lot more to it then birthing babies...and the Williford's and the Stewart's know that and we have all been so blessed and are all grateful).

I actually don't mind the questions....I ask lots of questions too.  However there are frequent remarks as well...which sometimes are more disturbing....

I'm glad they are yours, not mine.
me too!

You must be worn out.
(I just smile and think....I knew I should have brushed my hair and put on makeup :)

This is just meant to be funny!  I absolutely LOVE having a herd of I don't plan to have anymore.....EVER....but am thrilled with the ones we've been blessed with!

Hope you are having a great week

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


With this being Easter break week for many public kids are still doing school.  They are not too thrilled...but they are only doing half days.  And we are doing lots of fun stuff too....

Well with Odyssey of the Mind we always get a bit behind on our if we want to get out of school early for a nice long summer break....we have to keep on chugging through the spring.

However....we do have the week off co-op so our work load is down.

We did have an Easter Egg Hunt (or twenty) on Monday during "recess".
I even put candy in the eggs (I usually don't).

For Art we've decorated ceramic Easter eggs....

Of course we dyed Easter Eggs, which TWINKIE BOY told his speech teacher we had NEVER done before?????
ONLY EVERY YEAR FOR THE LAST 13 YEARS....UGH....glad I'm making a lasting impression....I made sure to get a photo of TWINKIE BOY dying his Easter eggs so I could have proof when he is old and tells his kids how deprived he was....and how his mom NEVER let him dye Easter eggs :)

So even though my kids are acting like I'm torturing them....they are actually having some fun and doing a little school!

For math today we did JELLY BEAN MATH....
ALL the kiddos enjoyed this....

THE BABY....sorted jelly beans by color

The Twinkies counted out Jelly Beans to correspond to the number in their egg cartons...

The GIRL made a Jelly Bean Graph of the different color Jelly beans...

THE BOY had to find the ratio of each color jelly bean present in his set of 50 and then reduce it to it's lowest form

FINALLY....their favorite part...they got to eat the jelly beans!
except for THE GIRL...who discovered she did not like jelly beans....but she hid hers on Daddy's pillow for a sweet surprise....because Daddy does like them :)
she doesn't want him to know who they are from!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pondering Passages...

I have been on a bit of a pondering hiatus.....well not really, just a posting my pondering hiatus.....I think sometimes I get a little TOO excited about things and can be a bit I was trying to give ya'll a break from my annoyingness.....BUT I"M BACK!!!

This week we pondered:

Colossians 3:1-
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

What a great verse.  Over the week I spent the vast majority of my time pondering the scripture verse, which is the first verse.  The focus of the verse seems to be setting my heart on things above.  How?  By setting my mind on things above. appears to be an issue of focus. 

Let me tell you....I have often been accused of having laser beam focus.  Here is a funny story.  My Dad showed me a video.  Here is the link if you want to check it out.....However if you are going to check it out do so now....before going on reading this post....because otherwise it will be ruined for you.

Here is the link:

Guess what?????

I did not see the gorilla....
My neighbors say that sometimes I don't even acknowledge them when I'm outside.  At church I've been known to breeze past people without speaking...WOW!  I am amazed at how much of life I must be missing!  I really don't see or hear or notice these events or people. is not personal....I PROMISE!

What has my focus? 
My kids.
My house.
Their schooling.
My to-do list.
The next thing....

One slight problem-o....I think the verse said "on things above"  oops......I'm just sayin'!

I have so far to go....So this week my goal is every time the Lord brings this verse to mind.....or this issue to mind.....I am going to consciously set my mind on things above....not on the worries of this world, not on the what ifs, not on my questions, not on my concerns, not on the tasks that are ALWAYS at hand....but on Christ and the things of eternal value.....

Hope you are all have a great week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The kids and I got to take some time yesterday to visit with Granddaddy and Grandma.  These are my Dad's parents.  I spent a lot of time with them during my growing up years because they were not only by Dad's mom and dad but they were also my best friend's (and aunt's) mom and dad.  They have a child who is 61 (my dad) and a child who is 34 (Amy) and 3 more in between.

Amy and I grew up more like sisters or close cousins then aunt and niece.

I am so fortunate to have all of my grandparents still alive.  What a blessing.
Grandaddy is getting so frail and I don't know how much longer he'll be here so it was nice to get to visit with him.  It was also sad.  He did know who I was yesterday....but he doesn't always. 

He really was alert this time too.  He seemed so happy to see all the kids.
It just hurts to see him go from so robust and full of life to so frail.  I know it is just part of living in a fallen world but hurts to see someone you love slipping away.

I must enjoy the precious people God has put in my life while they are here.....even if they have a long life (87 years) it is still but a season!

Thankful for the promise of heaven to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Okay....Here it is.....

Plans for my little people.....or lack thereof!

The TWINKIES start Kindergarten this year!  I am just does not seem they are possibly old enough....but they are. is my dilemma....TWINKIE GIRL is ready for fact she is more then ready.  My girl has her ducks in a row....and was born ready for school.  HOWEVER TWINKIE BOY....bless his precious not so ready :(.  He has apraxia (same speech disorder as THE GIRL....only his is MUCH more severe) and also shows almost every sign of dyslexia (at least I own the curriculum already!)
We can't forget our little dumplin' THE BABY she is only 13 months younger and seems pretty much ready to roll.  She definitely can hang with the
1. Do I start them all?
2.  Do I wait for them all?
3.  Do I start TWINKIE GIRL and wait and start TWINKIE BOY and THE BABY together next year????

I am VERY interested in any feedback.....

This is what I am thinking....I will start them all together...and just see what happens.  I mean classroom teachers have a class of kids and they are just at different I can pace the material differently if the need arises???  I would LOVE for the 3 little ones to all do school together all the way through.  They may end up doing different level math and reading....but it would be so nice to be able to teach them all together as much as possible.....but like I said...I would really love any feedback.


They too will participate in co-op this year.  I feel certain that will include a science class and an art class.  I know one of our moms is an occupational therapist and has mentioned that she would be willing to work with the younger kids (TWINKIE BOY) that need fine motor therapy!  So I am hoping and praying that would work out!  However I don't know exactly what they will offer for the P/K class at co-op we shall see.


We will continue to do Awanas and work on memory verses and read a Bible story from their children's Bible.

For TWINKIE BOY we will definitely begin with The Barton Reading and Spelling system his sister is using.
For TWINKIE GIRL and THE BABY I'm not sure....probably Saxon Phonics.

TWINKIE BOY will continue with his 2x per week speech tutoring and daily homework.

We will all do Penmanship together and I will probably use Handwriting Without Tears Manuscript Writing for all 3 because I think it is the best option for TWINKIE BOY.

We will use Horizons K for all 3

The House at Pooh Corner
The Story of Dr. Doo Little
The Story about Ping
The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose
The Llama Who Had No Pajama
Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book
Johnny Appleseed
My Father's Dragon
Dolphin Adventure
The Light at Tern Rock
The Apple and The Arrow
A Grain of Rice
The Hundred Dresses
Twenty and Ten
The Boxcar Children
In Grandma's Attic
Five True Dog Stories
Family Under the Bridge
James Harriot's Treasury for Children
Mary on Horseback

They will participate in the same geography program as THE BOY and THE GIRL.
see yesterday's post for more info and link.

Just good ole outside fun.
I do want to make an effort to play some group games outside this year too.
The Twinkie Boy will probably play basketball in the winter.
The Twinkie Girl and The Baby have spent the year BEGGING to take dance....we shall see if finances and time allow.  I am really praying and proceeding with caution for all our extra curricular activities this coming school year.  I do not want to over commit as I am getting adjusted to having all the kids in school.

The rest of their boxes will be filled with board games or crafts or activities and most likely a daily movie and things they can do by themselves so that I am able to work with the other kids.

That about covers it....
Love feedback on my schooling dilemma!
Next thing to plan.....THE that I know WHAT everyone is doing...I've got to find out HOW we are going to get it all done!
I love to plan!!!!


Saturday, April 9, 2011


This is long and probably extraordinarily boring to the average proceed with caution!

This is one of my most favorite times of the year....because I get to plan and figure out what we are going to do next year.....So I am EXCITED!!!!

This is what I've decided so far:

Will Continue to do:
Spanish, Writing, Science, and Art at we will use whatever curriculum they decided on...I'm pretty sure that will include: continuing on with his Spanish Now text, Doing the next level of Institute for Excellence in Writing: US History Based Writing Themes, Apologia Science (I've heard rumors of Physical Science....but I'm not sure)....and then Art.

He will do

He is going to be becoming more independent in his Bible Time:
I'm thinking seriously about using the Sonlight Curriculum for his Bible which will include; Bible reading, Scripture memorization, and studying the following books:
Bible Study Sampler by John and Sarita Holzmann
God's Will, God's Best for Your Life by Josh McDowell
Why Pray from Word's to Relationship by John DeVries
Evidence for Jesus by Ralph O. Muncaster
The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancy

Teaching Textbooks Algebra

We will use Sonlights book list for Core 100 which corresponds with his history study in that it is American Literature.
Bonanza Girl
Elijah of Buxton
My Heart Lies South
They Loved to Laugh
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Keeping Score
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Rules of the Road
Ender's Game
Amos Fortune, Free Man
Peace Child
Round for Oregon
Call of the Wild
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Indian Captive
Maniac Mcgee
Out of the Dust
Rip Van Winkle
Stink Ally
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Treasury of Poetry for Young People
Year Down Yonder

US History-
This year The Boy will at last get to do US History (he's spent the last 4 years doing NC History and Ancient World History, Medieval World History, and Modern World History....he is ready for US HISTORY and very excited! 
Our History program will be based on Joy Hakim's award winning History of US series.  I'm really looking forward to this!

Continue Guitar Lessons and practice times.

Swimming daily in the Summer
Basketball 3 times a week from October-March
Free Play the rest of the year

We are going to do a family Unit Study this year called Road Trip Across the US so Andrew will participate in this.  You can find out more at

He will continue to work on his typing speed and precision with Mavis Beacon Typing Program.

So that leaves Spelling and Grammar which are yet to be determined.....they are also his weakest still praying and researching options for this!
For Extracurricular in addition to guitar and youth group we will most likely continue with basketball.  The big question in his mind is Can he do Odyssey of the Mind and/or Boy Scouts.....I just don't know is the answer.....we have a lot of life up in the air right now and I just don't know how much extra curricular we can commit to in the upcoming year.  This is another area of prayer.

She will also continue at co-op but I am not as certain about which courses will be offered for her grade level.  I am fairly certain she will have Science (and I think it is going to be Apologia Astronomy....but not at all sure) and I think she will have Art.  Other then that I have no idea what she will be doing at co-op next year.....

AT HOME she will have

Not sure what we will do aside from Awana scripture memory.
I am hoping to do a Bible Study with her and 2 of the other moms in our co-op called
The Secret Keeper which is about the importance of modesty
The Secret Keeper Friendship which is 8 great dates for moms and their daughters.  This one focuses on true friendship and how to be a true friend in all your relationships.  I am really looking forward to this special time with my girl (but this will probably be night/weekend time and not school we may do something else during school and we may not)

We will do Horizons 2 (even though she will be going into 3rd grade).  She is a Math whiz but her dyslexia has caused a lot of issues with reading the word problems and with reversing numbers so we are having to slow down and work on "reading math" too....never a dull moment!

I will read to her from Sonlights read aloud list

Cornstalks: A Bushel of Poems
The Twenty-One Balloons
The Door in the Wall
A Poke in the I
Strawberry Girl
Ginger Pye
The Little Riders
The Apprentice
The Aesop for Children
Red Sails to Capri
White Stallion to Lipizza
And the Word Came with Power
The Cricket in Time Square
Castle Diary
Tales of Robin Hood
The School Story
The Minstrel in the Tower

Want to start cursive but unsure of which program I will use.  Probably Handwriting without tears.  They are known to be a very effective program for children with dyslexia who commonly have letter reversal issues.

Reading and Spelling
She will continue with her Barton Reading and Spelling Tutoring System.  I hope she can do level 3 this summer and levels 4-6 next school year.  However....we will take it one day at a time and we will get there when we get there.  I am not going to rush her or pressure her.  I care more that she understands it and learns the material properly then that we check it off as that is the goal....but it may not be what happens.

We will be using the above curriculum written by a fellow homeschool mom called Road Trip Across the USA.  She describes it this way:

"Come along with us on an exciting journey learning about the U.S.A! From the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the wild west, you’ll uncover all the secrets this Nation has to offer! Within this curriculum you’ll discover the sights and sounds of all 50 states, including state symbols, U.S. Presidents, famous people, landmarks, historical events, and much more!"

I am very excited about using this curriculum and I think by the end of year you will all see why.  It is chocked full of regional recipes, craft ideas, information......very hands on!  It will work well for big kids and little kids so it is something we can all learn from and work on together!

Home Economics
One thing I am kind of old fashioned about is teaching my girls Home Ec.  Yes I make THE BOYS do chores.  Yes they also have "LIFE SKILLS" courses and assignments from time to time.  HOWEVER.....let's face it often the girls are the ones most often charged with caring for the home.  I want my girls to be prepared and I also want them to relish their very important role.  So....I will move THE GIRL onto Book 2 Home Economics:  This year she will learn about:
Nutrition, Baking, The purpose of sifting, grains, dry and wet ingredients, how bread rises, the stove, cooking with meat, cooking with cheese, making soups, making casseroles, beginning candy making.
Items needed to sew, making a simple sewing kit, hand stitching, making a pin cushion, the sewing machine (I'm scared of this lesson), real sewing.
Why it is important to clean, Cleaning your own room, What you can't find, The closet and under the bed, and organizing school stuff.
What is hospitality, Three is NOT a crowd, and Hosting a Party

She will swim daily this summer for our pool's swimteam
We will definitely allow her to continue with basketball this winter
She REALLY wants to do gymnastics (she did 1 session this fall and REALLY enjoyed it however it got very expensive with all 3 girls doing it....even with the sibling we will have to wait and see)

I really think Sophie should be finished with her level 3 tutoring by the time school starts next year which means she will be able to do some simple independent reading!!!!  So.....if she does finish and if she can....she will also have simple, level appropriate reading books to read each day.....but not sure waiting and praying!

Other Stuff
I think The Girl needs to start her foreign language study this year.  However due to her extreme language difficulty the thought of foreign language study has seemed daunting.  A few months ago I was flipping through The Old Schoolhouse magazine subscription my mom got me for Christmas (BEST GIFT....LOVE IT) and realized that American Sign Language counts as a foreign language!!!!!  I CRIED!  What an answer to prayer!  So I am searching for resources or perhaps even a tutor to start her in her foreign language study and I believe she will thrive with this foreign language....ahhh...God is soooooo good.

Anyway....if you are still reading are a trooper.
This has probably been exceedingly boring....I am such a nerd and ABSOLUTELY adore this stuff!  I will post on THE TWINKIES and THE BABY's school plans tomorrow.  My man wants me to come and watch a I know you will all be waiting with baited breath ;)

Thanks for indulging me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Food Rodeo

So tonight we did something different.....

We loaded up all the kids and headed downtown...


Well to attend THE FOOD RODEO of course!

Randy is a bit of a food truck connoisseur....and when he heard that ALL the well known food trucks in Durham were going to be parked outside THE COOKERY he just had to go....
and we got to tag along too!

(Randy secretly longs to own a food truck and make donuts and park outside Duke and sell them to doctors and nurses and visitors.....shhhh!)

We were not the only ones who planned to attend!

It was a fun night....we got to try yummy food, Randy made some good business contacts (for his real job....not his "dream" job) , and we got to spend time together!

The kids favorite part.....was the pizza of course!

Looking forward to the weekend!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life is NOT always Parties and Polka Dots!

In an effort to keep my blog from becoming a highlight reel....I thought I would include a few pictures of the not so great moments as of late.....JUST trying to keep it real!

This little photo makes me laugh.  Randy got very mad at me for taking it (but he is okay with me using it now...because enough time has passed and my neighbor, Michelle, has been eager for me to blog about it :)).  As I snapped the photo he assured me this was nothing to blog about :)

GUESS what happened?  He was being his usual fun Daddy self and wrestling the kids (right before bed :/) and decided to do one of his super cool, jump from the air bounce on the bed moves, to send 5 kids flying in the THE GIRLS will just say that didn't end so well :)

My man worked very hard to fix it and was on the right track....but didn't have the exact tools he needed so in his wisdom he called my parents "old neighbor" Dr. Burch (the same one that built my parents table) and HE FIXED 1 day for free!

The next one is a little more recent....from like today....
Our sweet dog Mindy was at her Dog Open House yesterday
check out Golden Creek Kennels if you are interested (they are the BEST)


so Randy being the sweetheart he is gave her a bath when she got home....she was DIRTY from all the fun she had swimming.
I was so grateful....she looked so nice and smelled so good.
In case you have never met Mindy...she is a white colored golden. 


so today the kids and I took her out to play....and she proceeded to chase our neighbors dog, Tinkerbelle, which they do most days and they both LOVE. She had all sorts of fun and then she decided to swim in a muddy ditch we have in our back yard....

OOPS Sorry Randy!  I guess I will be bathing her tomorrow!

So don't around here is definitley broken and dirty....I just tend to not pull out the camera as often for those moments!

Hope your Monday has not been quite as messy as mine!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


So we celebrated THE BABY'S birthday on Saturday.
We had a family party. (plus our next door neighbors...who my kids think are family)
It was VERY simple.....and she LOVED it!

THE BABY LOVES her cousin Trisha Lynn!

THE GIRL LOVES her baby cousin Julia and her Aunt Holly!

We are blessed to have so many cousins!

She decided on a Minnie Mouse Party. 
Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Baby of the Whole Family!

My Baby Turns 4 today!  I can't even believe she is 4 years old!  She is so excited that today is her birthday but she is VERY quick to remind us all that even though she is 4 she is still "the baby of our whole family".  She relishes her role as "Baby".....and so do I :)

EVERYBODY knows our story about THE TWINKIES.....but very few people know the details  surrounding THE BABY'S birthday.  I don't know why I'm not as open about it or why I've held it so close.  I don't even remember ALL the details....but I will share the story of God's provision as I best remember, and I do believe it is part of God's mercy upon me that I don't remember it all.

As a little prelude to the story....we did not plan on having THE BABY.  At least not so soon.  She was a SURPRISE.  The best surprise of my life, for sure....but also the biggest!

I remember I was scheduled for it was a Sunday, and I was seeing "floating spots".  With my pregnancy history I knew that meant call the doctor....NOW.  I thought about waiting because I didn't feel bad....but I decided to go ahead and call.  The doctor on call was a doctor that was not with the practice I was seeing but with a neighboring practice that shared call duties with my doctors office.  He wanted us to meet him at the hospital. 

So.....we went.  I don't remember who got the kids, I'm assuming my parents, and I don't remember what ended up being wrong....I think I ended up being eclamptic????  It is all sort of a blur.....I do remember they had to do all sorts of test and they admitted me and I ended up having some sort of mild infection (maybe strep throat....although I didn't feel bad).....I remember waiting and waiting for lab results.  The testing finally came back at 8:00 pm about 2 days after I was admitted (they were running continuous tests).  They REALLY didn't want me to have THE BABY because she was REALLY early (6 weeks early)

I remember thinking everything would be fine.  I wasn't very worried.  THE BOY was 3 weeks early, THE GIRL was 4 weeks early, THE TWINKIES were 5 weeks early, so Audrey being 6 weeks early just seemed par for the course.  I found out later a single baby 6 weeks early is very different then twins that are 5 weeks early.  They took me for the C-section prep. and I remember all the sudden becoming VERY afraid and VERY nervous.  I remember praying and even as I began to pray becoming distracted with worry....I remember the doctor confirming I was a Group B strep carrier.  I remember the doctors being very quiet.  I remember they whisked THE BABY from the room immediately after she was born.  I don't remember her crying.  It was another silent delivery.  I remember being VERY afraid.  I remember asking over and over and over to see my baby.  I remember wanting to hold her.  I remember wondering why they wouldn't bring her to me.....and why they wouldn't answer my questions....I think they must have given me something....because then I don't remember anything else....until like 2:00 the next morning.  I remember them waking me up and something about spinal tap on the baby, very sick, high fever, not responding to antibiotics, concern about meningitis, yes it would cause a great deal of pain for her, and to please sign this paper.  I remembered that I had just had my tubes tied (I know TMI) and I remember thinking if she dies I won't be able to have any more babies.  I remember thinking,  "I don't FEEL like God's grace is sufficient for this....but I do KNOW that it is".....and then I don't remember anything else....except I was sleeping AGAIN.......God's allowing this to happen in the middle of the night and the mercy of sleep was a blessing!

I really don't remember much else.   I don't know why.  I am a ponderer.  I remember EVERYTHING (ask Randy)!  I can't believe I don't remember....but I don't.

I do remember I still hadn't held my baby. 

I remember about 3 days later they FINALLY let me come to the intensive care nursery.  I hadn't even seen her except as they swept her from the room.  I remember the pediatric doctor saying the doctor who performed the C-section had forgotten to treat my Group B Strep and that was most likely the cause of THE BABY'S infection.  I remember feeling extreme compassion for him.  He had been through a recent tragedy in his own personal life.  Again this was God's mercy.  I tend to forgive easily.....except if you hurt my kids...then watch out!  However I felt no anger only sadness for the doctor and the peace of God which passes all understanding.

Then I saw her.  She was so tiny and hooked up to all sorts of tubes.  She was beautiful and she stole my heart that very minute.  Then a sweet nurse asked me if I wanted to hold her and I was speechless (I know hard to believe).  I sat down and held my baby and wept.  She was so little.  She was so sick.  She  was so perfect.

The second hardest thing I ever did was leave the hospital without my baby (the hardest was leaving without Matthew).  They let me stay just shy of 5 days after she was born....but then I had to leave.  It is not easy to leave the hospital without your child.  Not easy at all.  My insurance would not cover any longer stay for me.  I had 4 children at home anxious to see me.  Audrey had to stay for 10 more days.  She was on a course of antibiotics.  She was going to be okay.  We spent the next 10 days back and forth.  We had grandparents who helped feed THE BABY and watched the other babies so that we could feed the was an exhausting and busy time for our entire family.

She celebrated her first Easter at the hospital :(
We made a little sign for her baby bed.  I'm sure she appreciated it!

One of the happiest days in my life came 10 days after I left her in that hospital room.  14 days after she was born.  I got to bring AUDREY FAITH home. 

And the rest is history!
God IS sufficient....even when I THINK he isn't.
As I said at the beginning....We did not Plan on Audrey....we wanted her....but didn't plan on her....BUT GUESS WHAT....God DID PLAN on Audrey....and Audrey was right on time for his plan.  I am so glad his plan is not always my plan.

AUDREY FAITH has been the blessing of a lifetime.  I adore her and am so happy to be celebrating her 4th birthday how time flies!!!